Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World

Overview

A compelling look at two leaders who held the world's fate in their hands? and the holiday visit that sealed a friendship and steered the course of World War II.

At the height of World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill held an extraordinary month-long visit, during which they planned the success of the Allied powers and strategized a continuing peace for when the war ended. Moving from witty banter to gravely serious discussions? ...

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Overview

A compelling look at two leaders who held the world's fate in their hands— and the holiday visit that sealed a friendship and steered the course of World War II.

At the height of World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill held an extraordinary month-long visit, during which they planned the success of the Allied powers and strategized a continuing peace for when the war ended. Moving from witty banter to gravely serious discussions— amid a traditional public celebration of the Christmas holiday— the two cemented a unique bond as they decided how to confront a menace that threatened all of civilization. Now, on the seventieth anniversary of this event, thanks to the skillful work of author Douglas Wood and illustrator Barry Moser, the story of this remarkable time can be shared with a whole new generation.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wood (No One But You) pulls back the curtain on history to offer a snapshot of Winston Churchill’s Christmas 1941 visit to the Roosevelt White House. The mix of famous quotes, humanizing anecdotes, and references to both monumental work (war strategizing) and holiday fun imbue this volume with an inviting fly-on-the-wall tone. Moser (Oh, Harry!), too, effectively balances light and serious with his watercolor portraits, which were often inspired by archival photos. Ages 6–10. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
This compelling offering gives a clue as to what it was like to be in the seat of power, watching the world burn and trying to stop it.
—Booklist (starred review)
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
In December of 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt hosted Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain. Mr. Churchill may not have been a good student, but he was an outstanding leader who had just the right touch in issuing words of encouragement. The British public gathered courage from such pronouncements as "...We shall never surrender." He was a jolly soul, but as obstinate as a bulldog. President Roosevelt was a strong-willed, courageous leader, who preferred for the public not the see him in a wheel chair. Even though he suffered from crippling polio, he always addressed the public standing in braces. When Japan bombed the American Navy at Pearl Harbor, Mr. Roosevelt was finally able to commit his country to war. Mr. Churchill came that Christmas season to forge an alliance and strategy for winning World War II. Their hope was this would end all wars and the world could live in peace and prosperity. The Prime Minister enjoyed his time with the President and his family, but they did spend many hours hammering out the details of their plan. This historical picture book gives a clear idea of how the two men developed a bond and the illustrations add to the telling of the story. Another book that boys will enjoy. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—In 1941, the leaders of two powerful nations experienced a Christmas like no other when Winston Churchill visited Franklin Roosevelt in the White House. Weaving actual quotations into the narrative (alas, no specific sources are cited), Wood's account of this meeting is also a story of how the men became friends just as their countries forged an alliance and America joined the Allied forces. Stunning full-page watercolor paintings capture candid moments from both the banquet table and strategy room, and even a surprising comical turn when Roosevelt barged in to Churchill's room just as he was getting out of the bath. Though the mention of this and other exchanges of banter between the two men at times takes too light a tone considering the circumstances, their inclusion makes for a worthy, humanizing glimpse into that historic visit.—Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

An engaging chronicle of the month that Roosevelt and Churchill spent together at the White House, forging an affectionate friendship as well as a world-changing alliance.

In the waning days of 1941, when prospects for victory in either Europe or the Pacific were dismal, the two leaders optimistically engaged in a marathon series of meetings to plan strategies that ultimately resulted in victory and transformed the world. Wood's narrative effectively captures both the desperation of the times and how much Churchill and Roosevelt genuinely enjoyed each other's company. Moser's detailed watercolor illustrations likewise capture their robust personalities. Despite balanced attention to both men, the eccentric Churchill emerges as more memorable, in both text illustration; most entertaining of the latter is of Churchill, ever-present cigar in mouth, toweling off beside the bathtub. As interesting and insightful as this story is, it may have a hard time finding an audience. Younger readers will not have the background knowledge to understand the historical context of the story, and older readers are unlikely to find the picture-book format appealing.

Those older readers who buck the format, though, will find themselves in for a treat. (afterword, author's note, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763633837
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 586,457
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 880L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Wood is the author of GRANDAD'S PRAYERS OF THE EARTH and NO ONE BUT YOU, both illustrated by P.J. Lynch, and MISS LITTLE'S GIFT, illustrated by Jim Burke, as well as the bestselling book OLD TURTLE. Douglas Wood lives in Minnesota.

Barry Moser is the celebrated illustrator of nearly three hundred books for children and adults. His work can be found in the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, among many others. Barry Moser lives in Massachusetts.

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